New top cop nuclear expert

| 24/11/2008

(CNS): Following the very sudden departure of Royce Hipgrave, who had recently been appointed to serve as Acting Commissioner but turned the job down last week, Governor Stuart Jack has announced the appointment of another Acting Commissioner of Police to take over from David George the Acting Commissioner who was acting for Stuart Kernohan. James Smith has come from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, a predominantly armed force which is responsible for policing the UK’s nuclear materials and facilities.

The Governor said in a statement released today, 24 November, that Smith comes with over 35 years policing experience ,during which time he has led internal and external enquiries; commanded responses to significant international events, including in the Command Team for the July 2005 London terrorist bombings, and has wide policing experience in a variety of countries and jurisdictions.  “He spent 30 years rising through the police ranks in Scotland, then became a Commander in the Metropolitan Police Service before becoming Deputy Chief Constable of the UK’s Civil Nuclear Constabulary from 2006-2008,” the Governor added.

Smith is due to arrive to take up the temporary role as top cop on 1 December.

 “I am honoured that His Excellency the Governor has invited me tolead the RCIPS at such a critical point and am hopeful that in the coming months I will provide stability, clear direction and strong leadership to the police service,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with members of the government, partner agencies and the citizens of the Cayman Islands.”

George departs Cayman tomorrow and in the interim, DPC Anthony Ennis will serve as Acting Police Commissioner. Hipgrave arrived in Cayman on 18 November and apparently informed the Governor he had changed his mind on Wednesday, 19 November, citing an unacceptable aspect. Although CNS was unable to confirm, there is speculation that the "aspect" in question was directly linked to the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) led by Martin Bridger, and the subsequent firing of Stuart Kernohan, the Police Commissioner who had been suspended since March of this year because of Bridger’s investigation.

Smith is expected to serve for six months and comes from a very different background to that of Hipgrave, who had experience serving in an Overseas Territory. Smith was a senior officer with the CNC, a very specialist police service dedicated to the nuclear industry with Operational and Support Units based at Nuclear Sites in England, Scotland and Wales.  Officers serving on the CNC have an exclusive role. The force is described as being positioned between providing protection for civil nuclear licensed sites and safe-guarding nuclear materials, nuclear site operators, policing and nuclear regulators as well as interlinking with Home Office forces.

Given the comments made by Sir Peter Cresswell in his ruling regarding Bridger’s investigation recently, which he described as “taking the nuclear option”, Smith’s experience may prove to be invaluable.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To all and sundry, there has been a Caymanian police commisioner, who was in charge until 2004. This commisioner was a very nice individual, but completely innefective as a commisioner, and the RCIP went to the dogs during this persons appointment. This is due to the fact it is nigh impossible to be able to aquire the expertise, experience and skills required to do the job effectively, whilst serving as a police officer on Cayman. For the service to move forward it requires a leader with expereince in a management role in a police force, which uses the latest in technoligies, procedures, and practice. Practically speaking this means recruiting from the Uk, Canada, or the like. I hate to say it, but while the aformentioned services (like all services) have their issues, the RCIP is hardly the cutting edge of policing, and recruiting internally will not bring any new ideas, or fresh blood into the system, and the department will stagnate.

    The guilt or innocence of Kernohan as a resul of operation SPIT is open to speculation, but under Kernohan’s reign things did improve considerably in the RCIP. There was a marked increase in moral, there was a sense of purpose, and things were in place to move the service forward, for example the new DTF Marine boats and dock, the helicopter, and alledgedly a new HQ, and various other initiatives such as more emphasis on training.. No it was not all perfect, but remember he was one man battling many to try and get things done, in an enviroment where i suspect some did not want to see him succeed. Kernohan has been tried by the kangaroo court of the Cayman, the way he has been treated by all and sundry for his efforts is appaling – shame on you Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Kernohan has been tried by the kangaroo court of the Cayman, the way he has been treated by all and sundry for his efforts is appaling – shame on you Cayman".

      "Cayman" has nothing to be ashamed of. Please put the responsibility where it belongs – HE the Governor and Mr. Martin Bridger. Of course that would involve saying something uncomplimentary about an expat which is no doubt your real problem. Clearly, you have no problem with "kangaroo courts" where a Caymanian is on trial.     


  2. Anonymous says:

    Apparently Mr Smith took the ACP post after being quietly retired by CNC.

    Has Cayman been saddled with yet another UK reject?


  3. Anonymous says:

    This is an insult to RCIPS………Does the Governor think about stability and inconsistency in the organisation. First he brought Op Tempura to undermine the RCIPS. Drag  the organisation through a world wind of changes now this!!!!!!!!!!!There areenough local officers with the integrity and talent to run the organisation until a permanent commissioner is APPOINTED. However just shows that there is a perception that nothing is done right until the English leads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good luck to all the officers who have to endure this humility and suffering at the hands of Racism? Wake up RCIPS and Cayman see whats really going on behind closed doors. My heart goes out to the front line officers who are suffering at the hands of this Governor..all because he wants to sweep the dirt under the carpet!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is just a big mess

    According to Stuart Jack the investigation must go on. First of all he got us into this big mess. Martin Bridger and is team is not competent to handle these allegation. Why was Stuart Kernohan the Commissioner allowed to leave the Cayman by the governor? If it was a Caymanian they would have taken away our travel documents. This is the problem we have in Cayman we are being treated less.  What is going to happen to the people in Cayman and our reputation? This is not the way to go. Why can’t they hire a Caymanian permantly as a  Commissioner. The problem is that these foreigners think that we do not have the ability to do the job. In reality there are alot of Caymanian who aren’t allowed to take on this role. The UK thinks that they should be in control of the Cayman Island so therefore they do not trust us to take control of our island. In the UK you hardly see a foreign person who has a top position so why not give us Caymanian a chance. This chaos is causing the Cayman alot of moey we do not have. Where is the money going to come from to foot this hugh bill? I think the governor needs to realise we need stabilty and a clear direction in the RCIPS. He needs to do what is best for the people in the Cayman Islands and our islands.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So, it looks like Bridger and his spit have caused the islands to lose two good commisioners! Before Bridger destroys anymore, including the credibility of HE Mr Jack, he is the one who should be "shown" the door, forcibly, if necessary!

    Perhaps then, the next Commissioner will have half a chance of restoring public and International confidence in a police service that was once the envy of the whole region…….

  6. Twyla M Vargas says:


    A nuclear expert to run the police force;  Is there a connection between the two, Will Mr Smith,s esperience prove as a beneficiary value to our police force.  Or are we being like a drowning man grabbing at a straw.

    Anyway, Mr Smith, we welcome you, as our new  Acting Top Cop.  I say, be yourself, Stay away from politics, get to know the Cayman People,  and your police force , listen and observe much before making decisions, we are some strange folks.  Jewel of the Caribbean,  yes, proud,  Serious, but God fearing.  Watching, when you dont even think we are looking.  Listening, when you dont even think we are hearing.

    We welcome you, and hope you feel comfortable during your stay here with us. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    It will take more than a Chief Security Officer of a Nuclear Plant in the UK to sort this mess out in the Cayan Islands that Stuart Jack, Martin Bridger and others from the UK are responsible for. 

    Talk about the need for stability, leadership and a clear direction for the RCIPS ???

    Probably an ounce of "Enriched Plutonium" could sort things out though !!!!!  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂  (Smile)